Birthday philosophy (loving birthday wisdom)
– Yeshua’s [Jesus’] story as told to Levonah by himself. (Taken from chapters 2,3 and 4 of ‘Going Up with Yeshua’ by Frank Ketoret.)
“So tell me, Yeshua, about your day of birth — what do you know?” I said asking the first question I could think of.
“This is how my mother told me . . .” Yeshua said and looked away to see his mother walking behind us. There was a pause as he looked and I thought he might have her tell it, but noted how they were so involved with their own conversation.
“When she, Miryam, was betrothed to my (step)father, Yosef, before their marriage, she was visited by Gavri’el, an archangel who gave her an assignment to have me to be her son.” He said looking at me.
His look was so intense that I thought he could be telling me a big line to impress me. But I felt I had already crossed over that bridge with him. I will just have to believe and receive everything he tells me.
“That must have surprised her.” I said.
“Yes it did. She had been a faithful teenager and learned to serve in the temple faithfully as she had been dedicated with a vow to virginity, before her conception. She alone was prepared for such an assignment.”
“She must have had a spectacular bat Mitzvah.” I said.
“Truly.” He said.
“Anyway, she kept her wits about her as Gavri’el explained how she would become pregnant with the holy sperm of the Holy Father through Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit). And for her to trust Yosef and be his wife.”
“She had to be willing to agree to this? I asked.
“Yes. That is the wonderful thing. She was little older than we are . . .”
“And life brings her a literal bombshell.” I said.
“Of course she submitted to the angel’s request. But the details had to be divinely orchestrated.” He said.
“You mean Gavri’el worked out all the details?”
“Yes! You don’t know the half of it.” He said with big eyes.
Then tell me both halves.” I said facetiously.
“My growth in her womb was phenomenal. I was there only seven months.”
“Oh, how was that? Were you premature?” I asked thinking how a baby is delivered.
“No, it was normal — because my Father’s hormones were powerfully blessed — not subject to the curse.”
“The curse of sin?”
“That’s right. The curse of Adam’s sin was man’s great downfall. But humanity wouldn’t be the race it is today, and our people would not hear the prophets.”
That was a little beyond my Torah school training, but I understood what he meant.
“Without sin, our reproduction process, would be more efficient?” I asked.
“Exactly.” He said looking expectantly for me to hear more.
“When Yosef realized that I was planted in her, he was suspicious that foul play had occurred, and was even tempted to righteously put Mom away privately.”
“So Gavri’el came to the rescue!” I said excitedly.
“Right.” Yeshua said smiling and knowing how our walk together was just flowing along. “Gavri’el appeared to Yosef not in a vision directly, but indirectly, in a dream; which was none-the-less real to him. . . How he was not to be afraid to take Mom home with him as his wife, for I had been conceived righteously by Ruach ha-Kodesh. And he explained, ‘As he is a Son of Dav’id, that all the details were already established through prophecy.’” He told me.
“That is amazing!” I said slowly. Then I thought to ask, “What prophecy?”
“Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 7:14, in 730 B.C.E.”
“Wow!” I said. “Your birth was foretold over 700 years ago?”
“Yes. Just like God knew about you and your birth before the creation of the world.” He said.
“Only it wasn’t written down.” I said.
“That’s right, but the prophecy goes on to explain why.”
“You mean you’ve been sent for a specific reason?”
“The prophecy of Yeshayahu stated how my mother was a sign, a new creation — something never done before, which was a young woman having a child without knowing a man (intimately).” He said.
“That is remarkable.”
“But also it described how I would be named for the purpose of my mission.”
“Oh, your name means. . . ” I said slowly thinking of my Hebrew memory of classic words . . . “Yes, Ye’hoshuah!” (Salvation)
“No, Emmanu’el.” He said.
“Right. ‘God is with us’.” I said.
We walked a ways quietly and our pace slackened slightly as I had just received a huge amount of information to process. (How can this be?)
“Okay! Ok, ok, ok.” I said blinking my eyes like I was able to file his story into my mind’s memory-bank that had not been made yet.
“So, YOU are Him?”
“You are God’s Son. The Holy One of Yisra’el?”
“How can I be your friend, even a special friend?” I asked humbly.
“You are already a very special friend, even my sister — because I would not even tell you this.” He said.
The reasoning he expressed to me was hard to accept but he did it so gently, making me feel he was closer than a brother. I felt almost naked to him. His eyes were piercing but I knew him now well enough that I could trust him completely with all my failures and imperfections. I felt like, with him, I had no more shame. He convinced me that he was my special friend to cover all of our family with his supernatural Personhood.
We walked along side by side and I noticed there was no shadow between us. It was noon. Our assembly rabbi, Shim’on, who was leading us in a very long line, had stopped and motioned for us to gather around him. It was several minutes before everyone caught up to him at their pace.
“We are planning for an early supper at our first overnight at the small cross-road village of Yenin. We can rest here for a short rest where there is water to drink.” He said.
“Where is the water?” Someone asked.
“It is there.” Yeshua said pointing to the small roadside fountain.
We were near the sign that said, “Yitzre’el, Avital” with an arrow pointing back toward Natzaret and showed “16 Km” It was amazing to me.
“Oh yes! You won’t believe what I have learned!” I said.
“I think I know what you mean.” Mom said standing next to Miryam and Yosef.
Yeshua produced a small cup from his pocket and made the gentleman’s gesture to offer me a drink. I had heard mom say to bring one for myself, so we both filled our cups at the fountain and found a suitable place to sit.
A small shade tree was not far, and we dusted off the roadside bank to sit upon. There was many others around us whom had long been acquainted with him.
My thoughts began to think of our family sacrifice which we had tied to the donkey carrying our tent and baggage. It was sad to me to have to give up to God such a perfect lamb that was like our family pet, only serving a far greater purpose.
Yeshua could observe my eyes moving to the lambs.
“You are worried about your lamb sacrifice?” He asked.
“I have never felt that killing an innocent lamb was a very good thing to do, even to cover our sins.” I said
“Can I tell you a secret?” Yeshua said.
“What? About the lambs?” I said in reply.
“Yes. Do you know when they are offered to our Father in heaven, that they are rewarded and given new lives there with him. Lambs are very special to our Father.”
“That is a very wonderful thing to say.” I said.
“It is true.”
“How on earth do you know that?” I asked forgetting him.
“Because I am one of them.” He said.
“How can that be true?”
“I was sent to be the Lamb of God for you.”
“Okay. That is enough, Yeshua. Please stop. It is not fair that you say such a thing! It is a deep dark, and sinister secret that I don’t care to know.” I said in emotional upset to resist such thoughts.
“All right Levonah. I accept your honest feelings. But think about this from God’s point of view. His temporary provision for mankind to walk in holiness before him, is the lamb. He set the standard for this, and all our nation’s forefathers, over the ages, have struggled to keep up with His standard. . . but, it worked.”
“And now, you are telling me that God, your Father, is sending you to be the perfect permanent offering?” I said looking hard into his eyes for understanding.
“You know the Torah well enough to do bat Mitzvah, then you should know the truth about deliverance.”
“Alright Yeshua, fair enough. Tell me where in Torah can you show me the truth of God’s plan — to use you to be the permanent sinless lamb sacrifice.” I asked as I sipped my last sip.
“There is a prophecy made as early as four millennium ago, in B’resheet (Genesis) 3:15, that tells the curse of the serpent . . . you know this:
And I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant, he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” (CJB)
“Oh yes, but no! I hate snakes.” I said.
“Well, the point here is clearly that the ‘woman’s offspring’ refers to me, the coming Messiah, that He (I) will bruise and tread upon the devil’s head underfoot . . .” He said.
“I have known this curse but never thought of it as such a prophecy.” I said.
“But it also shows how the serpent (devil) will lie in wait and bruise Messiah’s heel.” He said.
“How does that refer to you?”
“I am the ‘woman’s’ offspring that qualifies to do this.”
“To do what? Bruise your heel?” I asked not fully understanding this truly strange application.
To be subject to the devil’s plan to kill the Messiah.”
“This is too hard to accept.” I said.
“No it’s not, Levonah. You have just heard about my birth — the miracle of it. Now you can understand why it was absolutely necessary.” Yeshua said calmly.
“It is the kind of knowledge that brings me to my knees to think of you being killed by the devil.”
“Ah yes, but don’t forget how I am equipped for the job.”
“All I can see is that your birth can enable you not to have to sin by rebellion towards God. That you are uniquely capable to crush Satan’s head.”
“But, and don’t forget this, at the cost of his bruising only my heel.” He said softly.
Our mini-break was already over. We pocketed our cups, got back in line to walk until sunset (or sooner). I let my mind think over what Yeshua had so poignantly tried to describe in my hearing. If he is such a rare individual, who am I to have found myself so closely brought into his personal confidence. How shall I live with knowing such eternal secrets?
Then it hit me! I had somehow become included into the divine plan for mankind’s redemption. I felt truly humbled with this new understanding.
“Two prophets proclaimed this truth. ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ Hoshea (Hosea) 4:6 (NKJV), and ‘Therefore my people will end up in exile
because they don’t know the score.’ Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 5:13 Msg, (in 745 and 770 B.C.E.) Yeshua said.
Our walk continued in silence for the rest of the way to the small village area we may spend the night. I had become numb with so much intense talk. What I needed was my own angelic dream.
We arrived at our destination for the day. A city called Yen’in, at the elevation of 450 meters which was on the first ridge, north of the Shomron (Samaria) and Dotan (Dothan).
“Can you help with the tent please” My stepfather asked me.
“Yes, of course, Sir.” I said thinking of all the good times we have had in our journeys with that tent.
As I was turning to help, I noticed Yeshua just standing where their tent would locate. He seemed to expect another to do his tent. And my thoughts easily reasoned how, ‘If I were him, I would probably do the same . . .’
Then he looked at me with a knowing smile as if he had read my mind and heard me thinking. This gave me cause to purposely think only positive thoughts. He was to be my favorite friend, I needed him to always lift me up. I knew I needed that. And, after all, that is what friends are for.
We got our tent up and placed securely. I located my blanket as on the side of the tent toward the east-side. We shared a meal mom prepared over the large common fire that the men-folk had built.
Following the meal, our rabbi led in the blessing, and began singing a psalm of praise. This was my most memorable thing to do when camping. We sang together with our families.
“Yisra’el our mother-land, you are good to us. Your victorious cliffs protect and guide. How can we ever fail your strength for our heart is your permanent house to abide.”
It was no-time and our eyes were droopy in the dusk of day. Everyone knew to go to sleep . . . even as the campfire was put out.
Oh, and be sure to read the full story found online here: (Link to Going Up with Yeshua)